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Released records of nuclear crisis meetings show chaos, confusion over lack of info

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California is also considered a very volatile region. In California, we have Diablo Canyon. The Diablo Canyon Power Plant is an electricity-generating nuclear power plant at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County, California. It was built directly over a geological fault line, and is located near a second fault. It went online in 1985

The plant is located in Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region IV. In November 2009, PG&E applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for 20-year license renewals for both reactors.

The plant has two Westinghouse-designed 4-loop pressurized-water nuclear reactors operated by Pacific Gas & Electric. The facility is located on about 750 acres (300 ha) in Avila Beach, California. Together, the twin 1,100 MWe reactors produce about 18,000 GW·h of electricity annually, supplying the electrical needs of more than 2.2 million people, sent along the Path 15 500-kV lines that connect to this plant.

So what?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

peanut666,

Shutting down all nuclear plants is a incorrect conclusion. France gets all 70% of it's electricity by nuclear power plants. Let's say Japan shifts from nuclear to using bio-energy, solar energy, wind and wave power.

France does not have the problem of mega earthquakes and tsunamis. Japan is in a very volatile region and should have taken the nuclear energy road unless the power companies had been required to withstand those mega natural events. Even in France, following the 3/11 disasters, it tested the safety of all it's reactors and found them lacking. Europe is seeing an increase in wide scale floods.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't know where you so called experts got their college educations, but you should ask for your money back.

Shutting down all nuclear plants is a incorrect conclusion. France gets all 70% of it's electricity by nuclear power plants. Let's say Japan shifts from nuclear to using bio-energy, solar energy, wind and wave power.

If Japan converts 50% of their current electrical generation plants over to those technologies, they cannot produce the same amount of sustained electrical power as a SINGLE nuclear power plant. Those technologies are inefficient and have NOT been developed sufficiently to provide for electrical DEMAND which is increasing. There's no way to store electricity efficiently either. Batteries technology is way outdated and nothing exists that can hold the amount of electricity needed at night.

Oil, coal, and natural gas IS an alternative, but there are risks. More people are killed by air pollutants generated by coal, oil, and natural gas based electrical generation than by all radiation that was released by the nuclear power plants combined around the world historically AND this includes counting the victims from the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters.

So nuclear is the healthiest, safest, and most efficient way of producing electricity. If Japan builds them now, using newer, safer designs, it will be the most logical and effective way of producing electrical energy. Until something better comes along, Japan shouldn't be foolish enough to abandon nuclear technology.

The only thing Japan needs to fear is fear itself, especially from an ignorant public.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

well these are recollections, not minutes or records of meetings. We now know minutes were not taken and so all these are recollections.

Procedure of minutes/records taking: minutes are taken by secretary during first meeting. When the next meeting takes place, the meeting starts with review of previous minutes, and after ammendments, the munites of the previous meeting are approved/confirmed, etc, etc, etc. Do the records show the dates and all these details? Therefore all the rejudgitations here are just recollections of what happened during the panic when there was nothing planned. Hope they remember I doubt apart from the sweating, shouting, puffing and huffing, anybody remembers anything sensible to share with us....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japanese should stop discussing about the rerasons for fukushima accident because they are mostly due to human errors and negligence.To err is human anxd to admit it is Di vine.Japan must close down all reactors aS OTHERWISE,THE OTHER REACTORS ALSO CAN FAIL FOR SOME RERASON OR THE OTHER AND POISON MANKIND AND nNATURE.Germany is seeking alternate sources of Energy and Green Peace has prepared an elaborate report on this subject.Japan has plenty of opportunities to harness geo-thermal,hydro-power,wind power,tidal power,Bio-energy and solar energy by investing more funds and intelligent brains in research to produce better cells to tap solar energy.Japan can import coal,oil and natural gas for thermal power even if if it is costly as the costs of nuclear power will be far higher in the long run and morbidity impacts will continue for decades,making mankind virtually impotent,sick and debilitated and also mentally unhealthy. prof.T.Shivaji Rao,Director,centre for environment,Gitam university,visakhapatnam,India

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This days of modern technology era you can't hide such crisis and I would won to ask ho was the gay ho order to buld this power plant on the seismic break in front of oaken who the fff was that genius I would like to bet him for hurting may favorite nation I can't stand such idiotismu in first place may own nation has sufferd same thing in 1986 in chernobil many Latvians has ban sand to Chernobil to glen the mass we are with you we now wot it is we Russians Latvians Ukraine Belarussians All postsowyet stats nows this pain hold on and to not surrender you are strong nation good luck and if Russia offers they help accept it pleas accept we have this roof pain to

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The reactor's emergency diesel generators and DC batteries, crucial components in helping keep the reactors cool in the event of a power loss, were located in the basements of the reactor turbine buildings.

GE insisted that the No1 reactor had to be built 100% to their design and would accept no alterations. At the time, Japan still lacked the know how. That plant with emergency generators in the basement of the turbine halls was designed for dealing with tornados not for earthquakes or tsunamis.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Amano also cited the nuclear regulator's weak oversight, insufficient guard against possible risks such as total power loss and inadequate training to respond to serious accidents.

Mother nature, the mother of all whistleblowers, took care of business. The government of Japan had their chances from past whistleblowers.

No more cover-ups. No more scandals. No more hiding defects. You can not squelch mother nature. This article is about management gone bad and the entire industry got involved in the cover-ups from the government down.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The government knew within 4 hours of the earthquake and tsunami striking the power plant that the reactors would go into core meltdowns. After 8 hours it knew for certain, but didn't share the fact with the public until much later.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Thoroughly understood these high officials' keen concerns, 12 long months to 'reconstruct' the meetings' minutes aroused GREAT doubts on how much facts left on these presentable versions ! Credibility of the officials took a big dent ! Reason why the PM Noda has prepared the ground " no individual should be held responsible..& assuming the sufferings & pain collectively ! ". Resignation seems the least they should do to assume the responsibility ( both Noda's cabinet & Tepco ) !

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let's be clear: these "minutes" were made up almost one year after the event. The government broke the law by not keeping minutes, yet nobody is held responsible and nobody is punished for breaking the law.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

zichi Mar. 10, 2012 - 01:24PM JST

TEPCO had 40 years to improve the safety of its Fukushima plant and 25 years after Chernobyl and still they failed us. If they couldn't improve the safety, it should have been shut down.

Not just TEPCO - the regulators, the overarching bureaucracy, the governments that came and went.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Where will you be Sunday at 2:45pm? Not anywhere near Daiichi, I warrant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From Wikipedia:

The reactor's emergency diesel generators and DC batteries, crucial components in helping keep the reactors cool in the event of a power loss, were located in the basements of the reactor turbine buildings. The reactor design plans provided by General Electric specified placing the generators and batteries in that location, but mid-level engineers working on the construction of the plant were concerned that this made the back up power systems vulnerable to flooding. TEPCO elected to strictly follow General Electric's design in the construction of the reactors.[20].

The location of the plant was on a bluff which was originally 35-meters above sea level. During construction, however, TEPCO lowered the height of the bluff by 25-meters. One reason the bluff was lowered was so that the base of the reactors could be constructed on solid bedrock to mitigate the threat posed by earthquakes. Another reason was the lowered height would keep the running costs of the seawater pumps low. TEPCO did not factor in the tsunami risk when planning the site's construction. Therefore, the lowered height would result in the plant being more vulnerable to tsunami.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Japanese have been afflicted by nuclear disasters to a larger extent than any other country in history yet the official line is that nuclear power is necessary . Locating nuclear reactors in an earthquake prone country is not intelligent. The next time that an earthquake destroys a nuclear power plant, what excuse will be give to the victims?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But Fukushima provided the lesson for the rest of the world and nuclear safety is stronger than a year ago, he said in a statement Friday from Vienna.

Yeah, a good lesson for the rest of the world, but NOT in Japan cos they have done bugger all besides talk about increased safety. They ignored all the warnings before the March 11 quake and are still dithering around. They were warned several times over the last twenty years about the dangers of having the electrics and generators at ground level and were told to get them up off the ground, but they did nothing and now the whole country is paying the price. And, they have done nothing about the other 50 reactors' safety. Taking them offline means nothing! They still risk a meltdown if the cooling fails. Nuclear power is only as safe as the people operating it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But Fukushima provided the lesson for the rest of the world and nuclear safety is stronger than a year ago, he said in a statement Friday from Vienna.

Not from Fukushima? Not even from Japan?!? Hmm...

Amano is building smoke and mirrors. There is no foreign nuclear power plant operator that would recognize themselves from how Tepco and NISA caused and handled the situation. There is no lesson to be learned, other than of type "Told you so". When looking for the reasons to the meltdown, there is no "we".

Amano took the reputation of IAEA down to his level.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They made mistakes and did and are doing the best they can. Give them a break.

One thing good that happened from this mess is that America on the West Coast is frantically revamping all nuclear plant protections and backing up everything.

Good things always come from bad.

I am sure glad I did not have to evacuate South with another 30 million people. I do not like using public facilities.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The minutes of the government’s crisis management meetings from March 11—the day the earthquake and tsunami struck—until late December were not recorded and had to be reconstructed retroactively.

Really? amazing!! Are these minutes or recollections? And how was this done, if it could not be done in the meeting room? how reliable are these minutes? this seems another pr stunt aimed at showing people that despite the panic, government was in control, which may not have been totally true. Minutes are taken during meetings and approved by all people who were in the meetings before they become records. This cannot be done 1 year after!!! The fact is that minutes were not taken and anything concocted (sorry written) after cannot be called minutes......they are called recollections of what happened.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yet the Ministry of Education and Technology instructed the government NOT to release the data about the nuclear plume and fallout for FOUR days after they knew the feces had hit the fan. Preventing anarchy and maintaining a capable Japan image was more important than providing very important information to the citizens of Japan. Unforgivable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Perhaps the only one taking notes is "zichi" down there in Kobe. He covers this situation as well as onyone ...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maybe we could say "nuclear energy isn't dangerous just the men who want to use and profit from it?"

Nuclear disasters and nuclear waste is measured in thousands of years. An oil disaster, a mine collapsing, other industrial accidents are measured more in months or a few years.

Accidents and deaths happen with uranium mining.

Japan has the unique problem of building 18 atomic power plants and 54 reactors when it also knew it experienced more than 20% of the most powerful earthquakes in the world. Nearly all tsunamis are generated in the Pacific Ocean.

We have also discovered the Japanese Big Nuke has been corrupt from the top down, from the Nuclear Safety Commission down the ranks, through the politicians and into the profit seeking power companies. All highly more dangerous than cars on the road.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

right now. Bygones are bygones

They'll only be bygones once the power plant is fully decommissioned in 30 plus years. When the safety of all the other atomic power plants is increased to ensure this disaster won't happen again.

There are already many in the government, the atomic agencies, Big Nuke who are also stating something like time to move on and restart the reactors.

What's happening at the plant right now?

TEPCO is removing the debris from No4 reactor with the priority of removing the spent fuel in about 2 years or so. This will also receive a temporary building structure like at No1. The overhead crane has been removed.

The suppression chambers of No1&4 were inspected and found not to be damaged. Reactors No2&3 are still too hot to inspect.

The reactors continue to leak waste water at 10,000/month. TEPCO have stated it will take 6 years to plug the leaks and could end up with a million tons of highly radioactive waste water. A group of scientists have claimed toxic water is still leaking into the ocean.

The overhead crane at the common storage pool need replacing so that the fuel from No4 can go there. Additional storage building is needed for the many more dry casks from the reactor fuel and spent fuel.

Female nuclear gypsies will be allowed to return to work at the power plant but their hours will be more limited than males.

Areas around the plant compound still have very high rad readings. Some areas near the plant also have high rad readings.

Progress at the plant will be very slow and measured in years rather than months or weeks.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Humanity" has operated nuclear power plants for decades with less casualties than coal or oil,

In terms of lives lost from traumatic injury, that may true. In terms of cancer deaths that could have been avoided, no one knows for sure. In terms of birth defects that could have been avoided, no one knows for sure. In terms of square kilometers of land that became dangerous or unihabitable, I am going to bet on nukes.

and especially road traffic. Are you saying "humanity is not competent to drive cars" as well?

That is just plain silly. Might as bring up the number of electrocutions each year, and factor in the number of nuke, coal and other plants.

Other energies also have problems, but the dangers are smaller scale, visible, otherwise more readily detectable, and more easy to clean or fix.

Nuclear problems have the potential for larger scale, with invisible but dangerous results that last for thousands of years. There is reason why people can name the two biggest nuke disasters of the world, but have more trouble naming oil disasters. I doubt most young people ever heard of Exxon Valdez for example, and Deepwater Horizon memories are already fading. But Chernobyl and Fukushima will live on and on. A much bigger disaster is entirely possible and it will dwarf them all, and even your great great grandchildren could affected along with their great great grandchildren.

Meanwhile, there annual protests in Germany over risky nuclear waste storage and ever changing storage plans in the U.S.. Nuke plants continue to use the much more dangerous plutonium and uranium instead of the safer thorium that we all know about, and that is all over the world. But what is being done?

Sorry, but your plea that the nuclear industry can afford to rest on its laurels of an up to now low provable bodycount is wrong-headed and dangerous. I say again, humanity is not competent. So far, we have been lucky and our luck will run out like this, just as it ran out in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Human failings such as these are not unique to Japan,” Amano said. “We humans learn from our mistakes.”

And whatever happened to 'Japan is unique country?'

Japan is still a unique country, human's learn from their mistakes, Japanese politicians don't!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Okay already. We now have an idea of what happened a year ago. How about what's happening today at those destroyed nuclear reactors ... right now. Bygones are bygones, but this story is now an ongoing thing. Hope somebody is taking notes at this moment concerning the Fukushima disaster.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

TEPCO had 40 years to improve the safety of its Fukushima plant and 25 years after Chernobyl and still they failed us. If they couldn't improve the safety, it should have been shut down.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

allstars8787

Does anyone know how my family and I can check the radioactivity in our tsp water? We live in the Western part of Chiba...

You can't at least not very easily. You will have to trust the quality otherwise find a lab which will test it. You could ask at your local ward office if they have the name and address of a lab.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

Does anyone know how my family and I can check the radioactivity in our tsp water? We live in the Western part of Chiba...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

more proof that humanity is nowhere near compentent enough to

"Humanity" has operated nuclear power plants for decades with less casualties than coal or oil, and especially road traffic. Are you saying "humanity is not competent to drive cars" as well?

Please put the blame where the blame belongs. Tepco has show no humanity and continues to do so even today. Tepco and only Tepco is to blame, alone.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan’s leaders knew the damage was so severe the reactors could melt down, but they kept their knowledge secret for months.

Soviet Union kept Chernobyl as secret for just two weeks. This is a historical fact and it is pointless to refute it. Anyway, Tepco represents worse communist dictatorship than any produce of Lenin.

Break Tepco to pieces, release the markets! Capitalism helps people more than they ever did!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just more proof that humanity is nowhere near compentent enough to properly handle nuclear power. All the potential dangers were known decades before hand, but proper measures against those dangers were not taken. And if the media propaganda drive by the nuclear establishment is any proof, they never will be. They are spending a lot of time and money to calm our fears with words rather than actions. All they care about is their bank accounts.

I might have a more positive opinion if they pledged to go 100 percent thorium and damn the cost. But all they do is talk and flood the media with talk. The only proper response is to be anti-nuke, because humanity just can't get it right when profit is paramount to all.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Japanese are HORRIBLE in basically all aspects of crisis management. No one wants to take responsibility.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

“Human failings such as these are not unique to Japan,”

So much can be read into this quote. Amano is probably one of the Japanese "elite" who see themselves as the chosen race. But what happens when utter incompetence is exposed? "Hey, everybody makes mistakes".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“We humans learn from our mistakes.”but japanese don't make mistakes?? Sorry,I have no intention of offending the people of japan,but thats how I was taught,its okay to make mistakes,if you don't make mistakes,how are you to learn. You have to let the people think out of the box,then maybe this confusion wouldn't have happened.maybe, someone would have stuck their neck out and taken responsibility to deal with the problem. The person who should have led was the CEO of Tepco, so what really happened , I don't suppose the truth will ever come out.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Do people realize what Fukushima looked like after the Tsunami hit? http://news.asiaone.com/a1media/news/04Apr11/20110410.150223_19738266---09_04_2011---japan-quake-disaster-accident.jpg No electricity, no water, no roads, for 7850 square miles. How do you get heavy equipment and communications to get to the nuclear reactor? Of course there was chaos and confusion. How do you get accurate data? How do you verify? You can't - you can only make choices from best estimates.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I sometimes regret bringing my family back to Japan

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"...the day the earthquake and tsunami struck—until late December were not recorded and had to be reconstructed retroactively."

Yep, so they're completely reliable and unquestionable.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Human failings such as these are not unique to Japan," Amano said. "We humans learn from our mistakes."

Chernonyl was a few decades ago and what did Japan learn from that?

Don't tell your citizens the truth? No, Russia got their people out very quickly.

Don't tell the rest of the world in a timely manner? Yes, Russia didn't do that, nor did Japan.

TEPCO wanted to pull all their people out immediately, but Kan said no. The Russians literally killed themselves fighting the disaster.

And whatever happened to 'Japan is unique country?'

7 ( +8 / -1 )

There have already been meltdowns at the plant.

There is a substantial amount of material that has breached containment ie the fuel rods became liquid dropped down to the bottom of their containment vessels.

Why is there still measurable radioactive discharge from Fukushima one year after the tsunami?

Why are estimates of a 40 year cleanup postulated UNLESS there had been meltdowns?

The article's unfactual information really is misleading.....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But Fukushima provided the lesson for the rest of the world and nuclear safety is stronger than a year ago

What's the Japanese version of No point closing the stable door after the horse has bolted ?

And

Human failings such as these are not unique to Japan

"human failings"?? That hardly covers the life-threatening incompetence that went on! What utter nonsense.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Started lying….continued to lye….still lying…… sounds pretty organized to me…..

7 ( +9 / -2 )

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